Mandalay area: Acheik

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Weavers in the Mandalay area specialise in acheik, sometimes called lun taya acheik, meaning 100-shuttle design. While not always using 100 shuttles, there were certainly plenty!

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There are so many shuttles, that two or even three women sit side by side to share the weaving. Even with two to share the work, I was told it takes a month to weave one longyi, or wrapped skirt, which is 2 yards long.

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Acheik is traditionally worn by both men and women as a longyi, although it is increasingly tailored into formal western-style fashions:

IMG_5454The predominantly wave designs are created in silk with a tapestry weave, and the weavers see the back of the fabric. Here is the underside, or right side…

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…and the weavers’ view of the wrong side of the fabric:

IMG_5413This factory sources their silk from both Myanmar and China, using whichever yarn they have in the colour they want.

I stopped in at a shop so browse and was overwhelmed by the number and variety of intricate designs on offer.

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See how acheik is woven at Acheik Technique

2 thoughts on “Mandalay area: Acheik

  1. Thank you for this very informative and aesthetic blog. I am a color theorist and textile designer and was very “moved” by the textiles in Myanmar on a recent trip. Barbara Arlen

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